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April 9 1990 Melbourne GAF concert Print E-mail
Monday, 09 April 1990
 
Steve Tauschke reviews the April 9 1990 Melbourne Metro concert.

In a smoky cluster where frowning, sweaty bodies edged forward towards a
massive Metro stage, the Church both disappointed and mesmerized.  Set-wise,
it took Steve Kilbey, parading a David Byrne-ish super suit, around seven
songs to take up "on a trip down memory lane" and play a pre-Starfish track -
a wondrous Don't Look Back.  What this amounts to is that fans of The Church's
more recent offerings (including 'moi') would have walked away on Cloud Nine.
The rest, well they can take it or leave it.

Opener Pharoah, enchanting in its momentum cleared the way for half an hour of
North South East West, Terra Nova Cain, Under The Milky Way etc. while those
courageous enough to holler Too Fast For You or Busdriver pondered wishful
thoughts a bearded Kilbey wasn't about to share.  He'd give the crowd an oldie
when he bloody well wanted ! But for the moment he focussed on mixing talents
with fill-in drummer J.D. Dougherty (ex-Patti Smith band), a guy whose face
emits a young Charlie Watts, doughy appearance and whose skill and confidence
boggled the mind.

Marty Willson-Piper had cheekbones of the pointy variety such that you could
bump into them if you got too close.  But on a mass of guitars, both 12 string
acoustic and electric, the man is the curator of a genial noise much sought
after by his contemporaries.  Perhaps more than anything it was Willson-
Piper's quintessential guitar work which laced this Sydney four-piece's
performance with that something special needed to make the band's two year
absence almost forgivable.  Like a hyperactive child let loose on the monkey
bars, Willson-Piper and his ever so laid back strumming partner Peter Koppes,
sang their respective new tunes Russian Autumn Heart and Transient while the
VIP section Kilbey later announced pranced, bobbed and chatted in a "most
unorthodox manner".

Destination, An Interlude, Metropolis and Myrrh punched holes in
concentrations lapsed by the heat, their floating guitars clashing with
familiar choruses in one overpowering sound just too complete to convey in
words.  The euphoric crowd singalongs to Tantalised and an unexpected epic You
Took was the soothing fix hungry adorers craved.  The ultimate encore to the
ultimate performance.

(Transcriber Brian notes:  This concert was my first Church concert and I distinctly
remember Marty coming on stage and shouting "Hey Mr DJ, dance is dead !"
Also, the crowd sang the first verse of the last song of the night; a fifteen
minute version of You Took !)
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